Our Research Process

The ODPRN responds to research requests from organizations such as the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) using the administrative claims databases housed at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). These linked databases include information on physician claims, hospitalizations, emergency department visits, geographic location, vital statistics on the entire population of Ontario, and drug utilization data on the elderly population and those receiving social assistance. This research:

  • Explores novel methodologies in observational research
  • Conducts clinically relevant comparative effectiveness and drug safety research driven by members of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel
  • Refines the study design and data extraction processes to allow for increasingly rapid turnaround of research requests.

Comprised of a team of experienced clinicians, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, analysts, project managers, and research administrators, the ODPRN collaboratively and quickly responds to the needs of drug policy-makers in Ontario. Additionally, cross-provincial differences in policy decisions are facilitated through collaborations with members of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel,  the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS), and IQVIA.

Our research is conducted in three major steps:

Clarification and refinement of question

Decision makers submit research requests, consisting of one or a series of questions relating to a particular policy under consideration. The ODPRN’s Rapid Response Unit collaborates with decision makers to refine objectives and confirms data availability to meet outlined objectives.

Streamlined data collection and analysis

Rapid analyses are conducted using readily available data from linked administrative databases. Templates of analytic plans are used to speed up the research process for frequently conducted study designs.  As well, dedicated analysts who are familiar with standard approaches utilized in responding to policymaker requests enable rapid analyses. The typical turn-around time for analysis is 5 – 10 days.

Effective communication of research findings

Results are reported confidentially to decision makers, and are later formatted and submitted to journals as academic publications.

Alternatively, policy-relevant research questions are posed by investigators in the Stakeholder Advisory Panel. Results of completed projects that may be of interest to decision makers are disseminated directly to these end users, while also being published as peer-reviewed academic publications.

Explore our Research section to read about our research impacts and core themes, as well as browse through our publications and reports.

Please note that this report is NOT COMPLETE and is still in progress. Click below if you would like to continue.